Dog insurance comparison

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Your pup is likely to require medical treatment at some point in the course of its life and with vet bills creeping up in price, pet insurance can massively help you afford the treatment to get them better.

It is all well and good putting money aside to cover vet costs but dogs can be unpredictable, especially as puppies, so you run the risk of not having enough before they get into trouble. Imagine if your little pup had an accident whilst chasing squirrels or they somehow managed to eat their weight in chocolate, you’ll want to be able to afford the vet bills to get them better. Pet insurance takes away this stress.

If you choose not to buy pet insurance for your dog then you run the risk of not being able to afford their medical treatment and facing the heart breaking decision of putting them down.

How does pet insurance work for dogs?

Pet insurance provides cover for a percentage of veterinary costs. This typically ranges from 65% to 80% depending on the policy.

  • Excess charged. In most cases, an excess will apply whenever you make a claim on your insurance policy. An excess is the sum you’ll need to pay when making a claim. If your insurer offers a flexible excess you could potentially save on premiums by opting for a higher excess.
  • Annual limits. The total annual limits are the maximum amount you can claim in a 12-month period. Cheaper policies typically carry lower limits, while comprehensive policies will sometimes cover up to £15,000 per year.
  • Age limits. You generally can’t take out a policy on pets younger than eight weeks old or on dogs older than nine years, although some insurers have exceptions to this rule. One way to get effective lifelong cover for a puppy is to consult your vet before your puppy is eight weeks old to understand what kind of cover you might need, and then ensure that you maintain your policy without letting it lapse. Veterinary costs often get more expensive and frequent with age, so taking out a policy before your dog is nine years old, and maintaining it for life, is often the only way to have insurance for older dogs.

How much does dog insurance cost?

The cost of your insurance is largely dependent on what your dog is like. The following factors can affect

  • Age. Generally speaking you won’t find insurance for you dog under the age of eight weeks or over the age of nine. This is because these are high risk periods for insurers and you’re more likely to claim during this time. You can usually expect to pay more for older dogs.
  • Gender. Gender can play a large part in determining health risks. Females of some breeds, and males of others, can be more or less susceptible to certain risks.
  • Size. The larger the dog, the more it costs to feed, house and medicate, and the more you will usually pay for dog insurance.
  • Fertility. Neutering can significantly reduce your dog’s health risks, and many insurers will offer lower premiums for neutered dogs.
  • Breed. Purebred dogs tend to suffer more health problems than crossbreeds and are often more expensive to insure.

What does pet insurance for dogs cover?

  • Time limited. This type of policy covers your pet for accidents and illnesses for a fixed period of time (usually 12 months).
  • Accident only. This covers veterinary expenses related to accidental injuries, such as broken bones. Be aware that it does not cover illness unless it is a result of an accident.
  • Maximum benefit. This covers accidents and illnesses up to a maximum amount per condition per year.
  • Lifetime. This is the most comprehensive type of pet insurance, covering veterinary conditions or accidents over the course of your pet’s life. This policy covers recurring illnesses so if you know your dog is at risk for developing one then you may want to consider this policy.

What level of cover should I get?

The right insurance policy for you is one that’s affordable for you and delivers an appropriate level of cover for your pet. Unsurprisingly, the more cover you get, the more a policy will typically cost. The most comprehensive policies will naturally provide the highest level of cover, but may not always be an option.

The right type of policy is also very much dependant on your dogs breed and the health and behavioural issues that they are more likely to develop.

What won’t my dog be covered for?

Like any insurance, you’ll come across some exclusions when it comes to your dog insurance. It’s important that you check your policy exclusions before you buy as they have a major impact on your level of cover and are usually the main difference between policies.

  • Any dog that should be listed in the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991/7.
  • Working dogs.
  • Pre-existing conditions.
  • Puppies under eight weeks old.
  • Some general treatments, such as worming and flea control.
*Price per month for accident only cover based on a moggie, aged 2, no known medical conditions, neutured, up to date with vaccinations, microchipped and based in the CS24 3HT postcode region. Prices correct on 30/01/2020 on
The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products we can track; we don't cover every product on the market...yet. Unless we've indicated otherwise, products are shown in no particular order or ranking. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations), aren't product ratings, although we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it; this is subject to our terms of use. When making a big financial decision, it's wise to consider getting independent financial advice, and always consider your own financial circumstances when comparing products so you get what's right for you. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables has the source: Moneyfacts Group PLC. In other cases, Finder has sourced data directly from providers.

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